W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2008

Navigation/performaing an action within a grid

From: Hadi Rangin <hadi@uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 11:43:02 -0500
Message-ID: <0B318BF4BE2E4B388DC23654DF65BDA5@ad.uiuc.edu>
To: <wai-xtech@w3.org>


As a follow-up to our discussion yesterday during the teleconference, I 
suggest the following Navigation/Action modes when dealing with grids.

It is probably not a perfect solution and I am sure there are a lot of 
details that need to be clarified but I think it is a good compromise.



There will be two major mode when dealing with grids:

1. Navigation mode (Escape)

2. Action mode (F2; Default mode)

Entering and leaving a grid:

* Tab key moves the focus to the table container as a whole; not to a cell 
or anything else.

* Once the focus is on the grid, then user can choose to either stay in the 
Default mode (Action mode) or switch to Navigation mode

Action mode:

* Next tab moves the focus to the next focusable element (links, radio 
boxes, check boxes, buttons, conbo boxes, input, text area or whatever 
focusable elements)

* If a cell contains one or multiple focusable elements, the tab key stops 
at each element depending on their document orders before going to another 
focusable element in a different cell.

* When the last focusable element has been reached or there is no focusable 
element at all, the next tab moves the focus out of the grid.

* In the case of radio and select boxes, the selection can be done using up 
and down arrow keys once the focus is on such elements.

* in the case of check box element, the checking/unchecking can be done 
using the Space or Enter keys.

* in the case of buttons or links, Space and Enter keys can trigger them.

* in the case of Input and Text area, these fields are editable as soon as 
the focus is on these elements.

* When the focus is on Input or Text area elements, main navigation keys 
work like any typical editing environment. Note that we are in Action mode.

* At any time user can press Escape key to switch to Navigation mode and 
bypass all focusable elements in the grid and move out of the grid.

Navigation mode:

* Once the focus is on the grid itself, any left, right, up, or down key 
takes the navigation focus to the position 1,1 in the grid regardless it is 
a simple or complex, unified or non-unified grid.

* From this starting position, the main navigation keys moves the focus (if 
applicable) to logical direction (right arrow to the next cell on the right, 
left arrow to the previous cell on the left, up arrow to the cell above, and 
down arrow to the cell below the current cell.

* No wrapping is permitted.

* No cell including cells with no content is skipped.

* If the focus is on an actionable items, user can press F2 to enter the 
Action mode, tab to the desired item, and perform the desired action, e.g. 
check a check box, modify a select box, or edit or modify an input field.

* It is the job of assistive technologies to provide information about the 
nature of the elements within a cell. For example, "Editable text box". So 
assistive technology users (e.g. screen reader users) know that the current 
cell contain editable text box.

* If the elements in a cell contain applicable action items, some styling 
effect should provide this information to the user. Can browser's status bar 
used for conveying such information?
Received on Thursday, 21 August 2008 02:16:12 UTC

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